"The Great Wall" NOT Coming to BluRay 3D

I hate having to report these things, but the Matt Damon bomb "The Great Wall" appears to NOT be coming to BluRay 3D!  It was announced for 4K UltraHD and standard BluRay, but the BluRay 3D version is nowhere to be found.  This is probably going to become more than norm these days as this is the first year there is going to be no 3D capabilities on any of the TV's.  Studios could still package the disks with their 4K releases at minimal cost (and raise the price $5 to cover that minimal cost and make money), but they seem unwilling to do so.  This is another lukewarm 3D experience, but at some point we're going to screwed on a release that does make good use of 3D, and then where will we be?  So keep buying those disks and I'll keep reporting the news.


Did Sony Just Confirm They Are NOT Releasing Anymore BluRay 3D's?!

I have no idea if this means anything, but Sony Pictures has announced that "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" is coming to BluRay and 4K UltraHD.  No DVD was announced, but also no BluRay 3D was announced.  The movie was obviously released in 3D.  Sony was the company who decided to start packing the 3D disks with their 4K disks to get the best of both worlds, and they are not doing that with this release.  Obviously this is very concerning.  Since Sony has currently halted production of 3D TV's, they might now be backing out on BluRay 3D.  Or this movie simply wasn't a big enough hit for them to bother with the 3D release on home video.  I've reached out to Sony for comment and I'll let you know if they get back to me.  For the time being, keep buying BluRay 3D's.  "Sing" and "Passengers" are the latest to be released in 3D (and the first one is actually pretty good), so there's a couple ideas right there.


"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" Coming Back to Theaters August...in 3D!

Oh Terminator...once one of the most acclaimed and loved action franchises of all time, in the past several years it has been met with unqualified failure and disdain.  After a promising return with "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" put the franchises future in a good place, the series suffered through a cancelled TV series (which was good it should be noted), a failed reboot, and a fourth sequel that couldn't resuscitate the franchise.  There is now talk of rebooting the series a second time.  Personally, I feel the issue is that the franchise should have never gotten to this point in the first place.  It's one thing to make more movies if there is more story to tell.  The problem here is that the series reached the peak when James Cameron directed "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," which is about as perfect of a movie as you can get (despite some of the major plot holes you can find when all is said and done).
It was a revolutionary film with state-of-the-art special effects, a complicated story, wonderful acting (yes, even from Arnie), and some major twists that have been repeated so many times since that it's hard to remember that this was the first time some of them were done.  What the movie also did was conclude the story on such a satisfying and final conclusion, that to continue would be difficult at best and redundant at worst.  The movies have more or less been these very things since, and studios have been struggling to figure out how to make the franchise work (AKA: profitable) again.  Turning to James Cameron for help on how to make the franchise respected again, he offered up a short term solution: re-release the most loved installment of the franchise in theaters this year in a new 3D version.  I am not the biggest fan of older movies being upconverted into 3D.

If a movie was shot in 2D I feel it should be viewed in 3D.  The reason I created this blog was not to encourage more movies to be in 3D for the sake of being 3D, but to give consumers a chance to preserve the movies in the format they were originally made in.  This release is important for a few reasons though.  First of all, James Cameron loves 3D.  One of the reasons it is taking so long to get "Avatar 2" is that he is biding his time, hoping that glasses free 3D will soon be available (he might have to settle for HFR 3D in the meantime).  More to the point, he has admitted that if he could make his older films in 3D at the time, he would have.  This leads into the second point: the 3D upconversion of "Titanic" was actually very good.  You could almost mistake it for natural 3D if it weren't for a few very obvious scenes.

Part of the reason for this is when we take that first bit of knowledge into account, Cameron may have been shooting his films as if he were making 3D movies from the beginning.  All he lacked was a way to project them in that format.  So when he goes back to upconvert this stuff, visually the movies are lending themselves to look good even with the limits of the process.  The final reason this could be a good thing is that I think people are forgetting how good 3D can be.  Cameron knows this and it worries him because his future success is banking on people staying interested in the format.  A 3D re-release for 'Terminator 2' would be good because it would be exclusive to the format, it would remind people why they liked the format, and it would begin the process of reconditioning people to 3D in time for the upcoming 'Avatar' movies.

It should be noted one of the initial exciting things about 3D was that studios could re-release older movies in 3D in theaters, they would be difficult to pirate, and it would be an excuse for people leave the house and pay to see them again.  This is why we started getting 3D re-releases for "Top Gun," "The Lion King," and "Jurassic Park."  That started to come to an end, but "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" may bring this back.  The only question that remains is whether or not a 2D version will be made available to the public.  I'm mixed on this because while I would prefer to see the movie in 2D in theaters, the whole point of the experiment is moot if you give people a chance to opt out of it.  I will update you more on the story as it develops, but if you take one thing away from this it should be the excitement that one of the best action films ever made is being re-released in theaters.  Hopefully IMAX will also get a hold of it while they are at it.


Why 3D Stil Matters: "Doctor Strange"

Once in a blue moon I see movie where the 3D is so essential to the storytelling, so important to the overall experience, that I feel sorry when people don't experience it that way.  "Doctor Strange" is one of those movies.  I saw the movie a second time last night with my dad at a cheap theater.  It wasn't in 3D and it was at a theater that was old, had a small screen, and was in a mall that was practically falling apart, but for $4 and an excuse to leave the house for the night I figured it didn't matter too much.  It should still be a good movie, after all.  And it was.  "Doctor Strange" was still a good movie and we enjoyed ourselves.  I admitted afterwards though that having experienced the movie in both 2D and 3D formats, I walked away from the 2D version very disappointed and almost underwhelmed.  I re-read my review I wrote of the film and discovered I had awarded it four stars.

Four stars?  For "Doctor Strange?"  After watching the movie again a second time I could have sworn I have only given it three and half.  What on Earth was I thinking?  Then it dawned on me: the first time through I saw it in 3D.  The 3D makes such a world of difference for a movie like this, that I forgot my own advice that if a movie is shot with 3D in mind, seeing it without the intended effect will result in a lesser experience for the viewer.  The second time through I found the action a little less exciting.  A little more routine.  Sure, the special effects were still more than worthy of their Oscar nomination, but it didn't feel as special to me.  What was missing was the third dimension, which transported the viewers out of their theater seats and into the vast ocean of space and time itself.  Without the 3D, viewers simply observed action sequences.  With 3D, they were pulled into the world and got to experience the action as if they were sitting right there.

An IMAX screen helps, of course, but standard 3D would have also been just fine.  To remove it entirely resulted in a movie that simply wasn't as good or as exciting as it was when I first saw it.  I understand that some people will look at me and tell me that 3D makes them sick.  Some will say they hate the feeling of motion in a movie theater.  Some can't see the 3D at all because of medical reasons.  I understand all of this.  Some people really can't enjoy 3D and I understand their dilemma.  I can't go to many concerts because sensitive hearing would result in a really painful night to follow.  And in all fairness, "Doctor Strange" is not a bad movie without the 3D.  It still has many thrills, jokes, and visual effects that are more interesting to view than they are in similar movies I've seen.  The difference between the 3D version of "Doctor Strange" and the 2D version is half a star.  The difference is the action scenes don't have the extra punch it should.

Because some people can't view 3D they don't understand why I write about a format that seems to be dying more and more each day.  They don't understand why I fight for what seems like a lost cause.  I fight for 3D because I fight for things that make movies better.  3D doesn't always make a movie better.  I think it would have worked well for "La La Land" but would have likely been a distraction for "Moonlight."  For a movie like "Doctor Strange" it makes a huge difference and totally changes the film going experience to such an extent that it is a lesser film when watched without it.  And if this can happen with "Doctor Strange," then imagine a really good movie like "Life of Pi" and "Avatar" without it.  3D still matters, and "Doctor Strange" is one of the reasons it still does.